Morgantown, West Virginia – West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins has called out the effort of his players recently, citing their lack of time in the gym as the main reason for the team’s four game losing streak.
Despite Bob Huggins’ desire to make winning basketball games all about doing it for the state of West Virginia, today’s players just have other priorities.
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Obviously winning feels good and they would prefer to win rather than lose, but does it keep them up at night like it does their head coach? Do they feel sick at the thought of potentially not making the NCAA Tournament this season?
The disconnect is that Bob Huggins wants something from his players that very few of his players will ever be able to give him: ultimate selflessness for the sake of the team.
Gabe Osabuohien clearly wants to win. He puts the team above his own personal goals and accomplishments, and that is what makes his so beloved by West Virginia fans. He cares.
Jalen Bridges, who was born and raised in Fairmont, obviously knows what winning for the state means. His disappointment in his performance and the performance of his teammates is clear following losses. He desperately wants the Mountaineers to be successful because he understands its importance.
But outside of Osabuohien, who has an innate, inherent desire to win, and Bridges, who wants to win for his state, do other players on the team really care about the success of the team?
It certainly doesn’t feel like it.
West Virginia faces a huge challenge in the coming weeks and it will take far more than what they’ve been willing to give recently. Perhaps doing exactly what their legendary head coach (who is one of the most accomplished coaches ever in college basketball) has to say – live in the practice facility, run the offense, pass the ball – is worth a shot.